Earthquake concern for Missouri renewed after disaster in Haiti, Chile -

Earthquake concern for Missouri renewed after disaster in Haiti, Chile

(KMOV) -- The earthquakes in Haiti and in Chile are renewing concern about the New Madrid fault in southeast Missouri.

Michael Wysession of Washington University said there's an increased effort to work on warning systems for earthquakes. He said for example, in St. Louis, sensors could pick up the quake before the seismic waves from the New Madrid fault hit the city, and warnings could be sounded.

"Here in St. Louis, following the New Madrid earthquake you'd get about 25 seconds before the waves came, which unfortunately is probably not enough to do much but put the whole city in a panic," he said.

But a system like that would allow trains to stop, shut off gas lines and give people time to get out of elevators or out of buildings. Also, the Missouri Department of Transportation said that later this year, it will be doing more work on the I-64 bridge in the downtown area to make it more earthquake resistant.

On the other hand, Wysession said that there's no indication that another major earthquake could happen soon. He said that having two major earthquakes like the ones in Haiti and Chile doesn't point to any patterns, and is purely coincidental.

"Just like your mutual fund says, past performance is no indication of future returns, so it's a fairly dicey business," said Wysession.



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